Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Forwards On The Bubble

10/08/2021 at 3:15pm EDT

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Here is where forwards on the bubble stand:

Lucas Raymond: The fourth overall pick in 2020 excelled out of the gate with his offensive ability, making crafty seam passes on the power play, displaying a wicked wrist shot and collecting two points in each of his first three preseason games. He cooled off the past two games (no points).


This 19-year-old only makes the team if he is playing significant minutes, including the power play, in a top-six role. The club isn’t likely to keep him around just as a temporary injury replacement. When he makes the roster, they would want it to be permanent.

Chances are, he’ll start the season in Grand Rapids, logging a lot of ice time in all situations and continuing his development before being recalled at some point this season.

Bobby Ryan: The veteran winger in camp on a tryout has played well enough to earn a contract. He could slot into the second-line spot created by Jakub Vrana’s injury (out four months due to shoulder surgery), playing with Suter and Fabbri.

Ryan, 34, gives the team possibly its lone right-handed shooting forward in the top six, a much-needed element on the power play, too. He also is a good team leader and mentor for younger players. With two goals and two assists in five preseason games, Ryan has showed no ill effects from triceps surgery that ended his 2021 season.

Joe Veleno: He has played well in the preseason, after a solid five-game stint with the Red Wings at the end of last season. But being waiver-exempt gives the Red Wings the option of starting him in Grand Rapids, where he can be the top-line center, logging a lot of ice time in all situations, as opposed to being the fourth-line center playing a limited role in Detroit.

Givani Smith: Big, rugged winger hasn’t had an impact in the preseason (one assist in four games) and is dealing with a minor injury. When he is on his game, he provides a different dimension with his physicality, abrasiveness, net presence and willingness to fight.

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